European stocks struggled for traction on Wednesday as investors’ focus remained on COVID-19 vaccines and rising infections in the region. Talks about deals and developments for France’s Carrefour and Spain’s Telefónica were driving those shares up. The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP Index, + 0.22% was flat after a modest gain on Tuesday. The German DAX 30 DAX, + 0.13% fell 0.1%, the French CAC 40 was PX1, + 0.38% was up 0.1%, and the UK FTSE 100 UKX, + 0.13% was also flat. GBPUSD, + 0.22% extended Tuesday’s gains after Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey rejected the idea of negative interest rates to fuel growth as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.
European stocks struggle, but news of mergers and acquisitions raises Carrefour and Telefónica shares
In the UK, lockdown violators face tougher approach from police, Martin Hewitt, chairman of the Council of National Police Chiefs, said at a news conference on Tuesday. The UK recorded 1,243 more deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday as it battles a new, more infectious strain of the disease. Elsewhere, the Netherlands has extended the lockdown until next month and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said another 10 weeks of tough measures could be needed. Read: Why this country is vaccinating its working-age adults ahead of US senior stock futures YM00, + 0.15% ES00, + 0.18% NQ00, + 0.28% rose modestly as investors watched the pandemic, but also hopes of encouragement. “The main focus remains the fiscal program of the new US administration, of which we should get more details later this week, when President-elect Biden is expected to establish his stalemate from a political priority standpoint. “Michael Hewson, CMC Markets UK’s chief market analyst, said in a note to clients. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives voted late Tuesday to pass a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to remove President Donald Trump from office. Since Pence previously said he would not go down that path, the House will go ahead with an impeachment vote on Wednesday. Carrefour CA shares, + 9.41%, rose 8%, after the French supermarket chain and Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard ATD.B, -2.22% confirmed that they are in exploratory talks for a possible link. “While we are struggling to identify a strategic rationale at this stage and believe that a merger scenario could upset some shareholders, we have to admit that the news should boost Carrefour’s momentum in the coming weeks,” said Clément Genelot, analyst at Bryan Garnier , on a note. to the clients. “Especially after a disappointing year in 2020 with the share price only 2% and stuck within the EUR 14-17 price range since 2018,” Genelot added. The shares of Jerónimo Martins JMT, + 2.10%, which operates supermarkets in Portugal, Poland and Colombia, rose 2.7%. And Telefónica TEF shares, + 1.14% TEF, + 9.56% rose 6%, after the Spanish telecommunications company said that its subsidiary Telxius Telecom signed an agreement with American Tower to sell its tower divisions. European and Latin American telecommunications for € 7.7 billion ($ 9.40 billion) in cash. ASOS ASC shares, + 2.46%, rose 0.8%, after the online retailer said that revenue for the first four months of fiscal 2021 was higher than expected, and that it expects to report a pre-tax profit of all year round at the top end of current market views.